Our Veterinary Team

LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital in Cooper City has been providing exceptional, specialized veterinary care since 1994. LeadER is made up of fourteen doctors of veterinary medicine, including eight board-certified specialists in the areas of cardiology, surgery, oncology, anesthesia, emergency/critical care and internal medicine.   


Our staff consists of the most experienced and dedicated veterinary nurses, assistants and client service representatives available. LeadER's critical care and specialty nurses are second to none in their compassion and dedication.  Our veterinary assistants perform a myriad of duties and assist the nurses and veterinarians with treatments. They, along with the nurses are the caregivers, walking, feeding, talking to, and playing with the hospitalized animals.  LeadER's friendly client service representatives will walk you through the process of admitting your pet, and will make every effort to answer your questions, while putting your mind at ease.

Our Board Certified Specialists

Jason E. Horgan, DVM, DACVS, DACVECC, Medical Director

Diplomate, ACVS (Surgery), Diplomate, ACVECC (Emergency & Critical Care Services)

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Karen Marin, DVM

Practice Limited to Surgery

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Nick A. Schroeder, DVM, DACVIM

Diplomate, ACVIM (Cardiology)

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Seth Ghantous, DVM, DACVIM

Diplomate, ACVIM (Internal Medicine)

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Daniel T. Boruta DVM, DACVAA

Diplomate, ACVAA (Anesthesiology)

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Armando Villamil, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Diplomate, ACVIM (Oncology)

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LeeAnn Ablin, DVM

Diplomate, ACVS (Surgery), CCRP, Certified Veterinary Acupuncture

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Marco Ruffato, DVM, DACVAA, cVMA

Diplomate, ACVAA (Anesthesiology)

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Stavros Pavlides, BVetMed

Diplomate, DACVECC (Critical Care)

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Our Emergency & Critical Care Team

Led by Jason E. Horgan, DVM, DACVECC (Emergency & Critical Care), DACVS (Surgery), Medical Director

Erica Ledesma, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Ledesma grew up in North White Plains, NY. She traveled to the beautiful caribbean island of Grenada to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a veterinarian at St. George’s University SVM. She completed her clinical training at NCSU CVM. Then, completed a small animal rotating internship at Veterinary Speciality Hospital of the Carolinas in Ralegh, NC. Dr. Ledesma loves many aspects of veterinary medicine, especially surgery and emergency medicine.

Aside from veterinary medicine, Dr. Ledesma enjoys being outdoors, hiking, swimming in the ocean, watching movies, and puzzling. She also loves spending time with her significant other, her family, and her kitties Jax and Ace. She looks forward to continuing her training in surgery and emergency medicine and saving patients lives at LeadER Animal Speciality!

Jacklyn Johns, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Jacklyn Johns was born and raised in South Florida. She worked as a veterinary technician while attending Florida Atlantic University, where she graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Biology. Dr. Johns obtained her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from St. Matthew's University. Her clinical training was at the University of Pennsylvania. She held various leadership positions in organizations, including the Student Chapter of the American Animal Hospital Association, Student Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, and American Veterinary Medical Association. Additionally, she obtained the Dean's Award and Pfizer Small Animal Medicine Senior Excellence Award. Dr. Johns completed an internship at the prestigious Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. Since that time, she has been working as an emergency clinician. Her primary interests include emergency medicine, critical care and surgery. When Dr. Johns is not practicing veterinary medicine, she loves spending time with her family and traveling.

Clay Phillips, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine


Originally from Georgia, Dr. Phillips attended the University of Georgia for an undergraduate Biology Degree and then on to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He worked in the Atlanta area doing emergency medicine for over 6 years. Dr. Phillips interests include Emergency Medicine, Advanced Imaging ,Blood Transfusion Medicine, and Snake bite cases. He moved to South Florida in 2018 with his wife, daughter 2 dogs and 2 cats.


Kate Spahn, DVM, ER Service Chief
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Spahn was born and raised in Central Florida. Prior to attending veterinary school at the University of Florida, she was a certified veterinary technician for 4 years and then majored in biology at the University of Central Florida. During veterinary school, she developed a strong interest in ophthalmology, as well as critical care cases. She completed a one year small animal medicine and surgery internship in San Antonio, TX, followed by a one year internship at an ophthalmology specialty practice in Miami, FL. Dr. Spahn decided to remain in Florida to pursue a career in emergency and critical care and to stay close to her family and loved ones.

Dr. Spahn is a true adventurer, enjoying all outdoor activities, including scuba diving, kayaking, white water rafting, skydiving, and motocross. From climbing Machu Picchu in Peru to mountain biking the Death Road in Bolivia to up-close encounters with grizzlies in Alaska, she is always up for a challenge both in her personal adventures and professionally. When it is time to relax at home, Dr. Spahn looks forward to coming home to her 8-yr-old black lab, Cordi, to cuddle and play fetch.

Elizabeth Rosainz, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Dr. Rosainz obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree at Florida International University in May 2005.  Later that year, after her own dog was injured following Hurricane Wilma, she renewed her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian.  She completed course work in biology for two years at FIU and began veterinary school at St. George’s University in Grenada in 2008.  After one year studying in the Caribbean she transferred to Oklahoma State University and received her DVM degree in May 2012.

Dr. Rosainz completed a 13 month internship at Hollywood Animal Hospital in small animal medicine, general practice, surgery and emergency medicine.  Her main areas of interest include small animal medicine, ophthalmology, soft tissue surgery, and emergency medicine.


Krystal Yamamoto, DVM
Practice Limited to Emergency & Critical Care Medicine

Aloha! My name is Dr. Krystal Yamamoto and I was born and raised in Hawaii. In 2014, I received my bachelors degree in biology from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Animals have always been a constant throughout my life and after graduating with my bachelors, I decided I wanted to dedicate my life to them by becoming a veterinarian. I graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 and have been doing general practice for the last year and a half. Emergency medicine has always been an interest of mine which has led me to join your team! I love cats and currently have 3: Dr. Ana Taco, Professor Cheddar Cheese Pizza, and Merlin Lord of the Fleas (A misnomer: Don't worry, he's flea free and on Revolution Plus!). Outside of work, I enjoy watching Netflix, going on hikes, and playing music.

Rachel Groveman, DVM - General Practice

Dr. Rachel Groveman is 2005 graduate of University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. She has been practicing in Broward county ever since. Born in New York City, her passion for animals started as a young child rescuing stray cats off the city streets and turned into a fulfilling career as a veterinarian. Her special interests include internal medicine, feline medicine, dentistry and dermatology. Dr. Groveman has two cats, Sierra and Mr. Mistoffelees, who run her household. When she is not working, Dr. Groveman enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoying hiking, kayaking and traveling.

Allison Pollak, DVM, General Practice

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Medical Lab Technician (MLT)

Deanna originates from a small town outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Ohio where she attended the Columbus State Community College Veterinary Technology program (which was conducted with the Ohio State Veterinary School) in 1988-1989. She moved down to Florida in 1990 and has been working as a CVT since. In 2000, she furthered her education in laboratory medicine, graduating in 2000 with her MLT license. .She has been at Leader Animal specialty since 2010, where she oversees the laboratory and works to fill in for the general practice and emergency services. Deanna has a sincere understanding of our feline friends –she has 7 indoor and spoiled kitties of her own, but also works as our Radioiodine Nurse where she takes care of our I131 patients. On her off time, she enjoys riding motorcycles and spending time at home with her boyfriend and their family.

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Technician Supervisor


Jessica was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Go Pens!) and has always loved animals and the bond that a person can create with an animal. That bond led Jessica to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. Her under graduate studies were done at University of Pennsylvania, and shortly after graduated from the Veterinary Technician Institute of PA. Jessica has over 10 years of Emergency, Critical Care, and Specialty Medicine experience which included a rotating internship at AVETS and ECC Veterinary Technician Specialty ECC training program in Pittsburgh. Jessica's plan to continue this journey with the FVMA. She spent time teaching at the Veterinary Technician Institute of PA, where surgical nursing, anesthesia and medical math were her favorite subjects to teach. She spends time with a stubborn French bulldog named Max, and has been a foster parent for children in south Florida. She likes cooking, the beach, and the south Florida rain!


Melissa, Lead Technician
Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)

Melissa is originally from Queens, New York.  She received her AAS in Veterinary Science Technology from SUNY Farmindale in 1992 and is a Licensed Veterinary Technician.  She has been working at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital since she moved to Florida in 1995.  For the first six years, she rotated through the general and specialty practice and was also ICU supervisor.  In 2001 she started working in the ER/Critical Care Department.  Melissa attends continuing education courses to keep current on the newest trends in veterinary medicine and is also a member of NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) and FVTA (Florida Veterinary Technician Association).  When she is not busy in the ER/ICU, Melissa is busy at home with two kids, 5 dogs, and a bearded dragon.

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Adriana joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Tech Assistant

Alexandria joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Alexis joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Amanda joined the LeadER team in 2020.


Amanda joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Amara, Lead Technician
Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)

Amara joined the LeadER team in 2017.  


ECC Assistant

Anna joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Asha joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

ECC Assistant

Briaonica joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Brisa joined LeadER in 2019. 


Brittany joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Candyce joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Chinee joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Daniella joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Deanna joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Deborah joined the LeadER team in 2018. 


Delilah joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Dennis joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Destiny joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

ECC Assistant

Dominique joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Dylan joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Lead Technician

Elizabeth joined our team in 2017. 


Eneida has been part of our team since 1993.  She assists our doctors and technicians in caring for their patients.  Cleaning, keeping our ICU well stocked, holding patients for exams, x-rays, blood work and procedures, walking the dogs and giving love to every patient are just some of her responsibilities.  At home, Eneida has two sons, birds, dogs, cats, reptiles and takes care of the neighborhood ducks.


Eve joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Jasnaid joined the LeadER team in 2018. 


Jason joined the LeadER team in 2019.

ECC Technician

Justin joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Karisma joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Certified Veterinary Technician, CVT

Kimberly joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Leo joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Lisa rejoined the LeadER team in 2018. 


Lori joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

ECC Assistant

Luis joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Osvaldo joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Ryan joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Sharlini joined the LeadER team in 2020.


Tatiana joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Theresa joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Discharge Care Coordinator

Vanessa joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Our Cardiology Team

Led by Nick A. Schroeder, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Diana was born in Colombia, moved to Florida in 1994.  She became a CVT (Certified Veterinary Technician) from Penn Foster college in 2012 and has been at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital since 2004 in the cardiology department.  Her favorite interests are assisting Dr. Schroeder during invasive cardiology procedures such as pacemaker implantation and thoracotomy for patent ductus arteriosus ligation and subtotal pericardectomy.  She loves making her clients and patients feel warm and welcomed as if they were her own family.

Veterinary Technician

Edgar was born in Florida and has been working in LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital's ICU and emergency services since 2010.  He joined the Cardiology Department in December 2014 and has enjoyed every educational moment of it. 

Our Surgery Team

Led by Jason E. Horgan, DVM, DACVS (Surgery), DACVECC (Emergency & Critical Care), Medical Director

Sebastian Mejia, DVM, Surgery Resident
Practice Limited to Surgery

Dr. Mejia was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, where he also graduated veterinary school. After moving to Southern California in 2010, Dr. Mejia worked at a specialty hospital as a lead small animal surgery technician while homologating his doctor of veterinary medicine title through the educational commission for foreign veterinary graduates (ECFVG). During this time he developed a love for surgery.


Dr. Mejia completed a rotating internship at the Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura, CA, followed by a surgical internship at VCA ARECA in Mesa, AZ. He then pursued a 2 year clinical research internship in orthopedics and surgical oncology at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Dr. Mejia has published multiple peer reviewed articles and has a passion for research and the advancement of small animal surgery. Among his hobbies are competitive shooting, snorkeling, mountain biking, working out and spending time with his two Boerboels (Bru and Kaya) and his cat (Dr. Gonzo).

Brigita Ziogaite, DVM, Surgery Intern
Practice Limited to Surgery

Dr. Ziogaite has been at a private practice since 2013. She was born in Lithuania and moved to the United States at the age of 21 without any knowledge of the English language but not without determination of becoming a veterinarian. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biology with Magna Cum Laude from Adelphi University in New York. She then continued to pursue her dreams at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine and completed her clinical year at University of Minnesota. She has a cat, Plikis and an umbrella cockatoo named Jerry Boca. Besides her passion caring for pets, Dr. Ziogaite enjoys gardening.

Surgery Technician Supervisor


Liz's original career path did not involve working with animals, she graduated from FIU with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. It was at 25 that Liz changed her career path. She began to volunteer at local shelters and decided that working with animals. With on the job training Liz quickly became a well versed technician, she has experience with emergency/ critical care but her passion lies within surgery. Liz currently is working on her certification but has been in the field for over 5 years. On her days off she enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, working out and spending time with family. Liz has three dogs, two pit bulls named Bella and Maya, and a beagle named Pebbles.


Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Misti Reyes, CVT graduated with honors from the Veterinary Technician program at Yakima Valley Community College in 2007. She worked at a busy general practice in the Tri-Cities, Washington for 5 years prior to moving to Florida. She joined the LeadER Surgery department in 2012. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and their 2 cats.

Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Chelsea joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Erika joined the LeadER team in 2016. 


Erin joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Faith joined the LeadER team in 2019. 


Haley rejoined the LeadER Team in 2020. 


Kellie started working at LeadER back in 2006.  It was always a dream of hers to work with animals.  She is married with 7 children and 12 grandchildren.  Kellie has 2 dogs, loves hockey, baseball and doing arts and crafts. 

Surgery Assistant

Omar joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Our Internal Medicine Team

Lead by Seth Ghantous, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine)

Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)

Yoli graduated from LaGuardia Community College in New York with an AAS in Veterinary Science Technology and is a Licensed  Veterinary Technician.  She began working at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital in 1998.  After a few years of working during the day in our general/specialty practice, she joined the ER/Critical Care department.  Yoli enjoys working alongside our doctors and dealing with the challenge of nursing our most complicated cases.  Seeing her patients recover and return home to their families gives her great satisfaction.  She is a member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).  When she is not at work, Yoli enjoys spending time with her two sons, her dog and her tortoises. 


Misael joined the LeadER team in 2020. 


Sandra joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Our Oncology Team

Led by Armando Villamil, DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Our Support Team

Practice Manager

Darryl grew up in the Midwest graduating in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics. Upon graduating from college, Darryl started his career in Washington, D.C. managing a Congressional Office for a U.S. Congressman and later went on to manage and produce 2 Emmy award winning television shows (The McLaughlin Group & McLaughlin One on One) with the late John McLaughlin. Darryl also was the Director of the International Summit of Young Technology Leaders, an educational organization that brought technology leaders and high achieving high school students together.  In 2002, Darryl moved to south Florida to begin his career consulting and managing several large veterinary practices and directing 2 non-profit animal aide groups.  Darryl joined the LeadER team in February of 2016.

Darryl is married and has 4 small dogs(Little Ricky, Lucy, Ethel & Wilfred).

Practice Manager, Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT)

Heather Midcap LVT has worked in the veterinary field for over 20 years, gaining experience in all areas of a veterinary practice. Aside from her many years of ER/ICU experience, Heather ran her hospitals Internal Medicine department for 3 years until she was promoted to Practice manager in 2010. Heather decided to join the Heska Corporation in 2011 where she provided training on diagnostic lab equipment and products to veterinary hospitals across the south east. During her time at Heska she also worked as the weekend Practice Manager at an Animal Emergency and Specialty Hospital on the west coast of Florida. Heather has also served as a consultant for local veterinarians requesting her advice pertaining to technical matters. We are proud to now call her our Practice Manager. She passionately believes in our mission to provide the highest quality of patient care in a compassionate environment that provides exceptional client service and education. Heather is married to her husband John and together they have 2 children Summer (19) and Taylor (16), they have 3 dogs, (Bruiser, Maui and Apollo) and 2 cats (Versaci and Yeezy).

Assistant Practice Manager/Client Liaison

Renee was born and raised in Denver Colorado. She moved to south Florida in 1982 and began a 23 year career in real estate. Renee always had a special love and compassion for animals and always wanted to work in the veterinary field.

In 2007 Renee decided it was finally time to do something she had always loved and took a veterinary assistant course. Upon completing the course she began her career with LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital. Renee spent her first year working in our laboratory department and soon realized with her excellent customer service skills and her love and compassion for animals she wanted to join our client service team as one of our receptionists. In 2013 Renee also began working on our social media Facebook page. In 2016, after over 8 years working with LeadER Renee is now our Assistant Practice Manager/Client Liason and Social Media Manager.

In her spare time there is nothing more Renee would rather be doing than spending time with her family, which includes four, four legged children, Maximus, Sophia, Bunny and Angel.

Front Desk Supervisor

Bobbi is originally from Durban, South Africa. She graduated from the University of Natal, Durban with a Bachelor of Social Science and majors in Industrial Labor Studies and Sociology. Bobbi has travelled the USA and internationally and has enjoyed many multicultural experiences. She loves being a wife and mom to two children, two dogs and four cats. With a passion for animals Bobbi started in the veterinary field here at LeadER Animal Specialty Hospital in 2006. She loves helping clients and ensuring all patients well-being.

Client Service Representative

Amber joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Clients Services

Angela joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Barbara joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Beatriz joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Client Service Representative

Belgies joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Brianna joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Chelsea joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Daniella joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Client Service Representative

Dhaixa grew up in Miami and moved to Broward earlier this year. She began working in the veterinary field 4 years ago and cannot imagine herself doing anything else. During her free time she enjoys dancing and the beach and of course spending time with her dog, Gorda and 3 cats Buddha, Lana and Cricket.

Client Service Representative

Since the age of five years old, I’ve wanted to work with animals. One of my defining moments was watching “Flipper” the series as a kid. It made me realize my love for all animals and how I wanted to do my best to help them. From a young age, I realized that they are innocent creatures that need our help and protection, majority of the time from our own species since humans are the ones that inflict the most damage to them.

From then up until now my drive to help those who can’t help themselves has only strengthened. I have been working with animals for over ten years. It brings me great joy to see all the animals that come into the animal hospitals I’ve worked at sick; and leave feeling better—on their road to recovery.

Client Service Representative

Gabriella joined the leadER team in 2020. 


Client Services Representative

Jazmin joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Billing and Inventory Specialist

Jennifer joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Client Service Representative

Kaia joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Karen joined our team in 2017. 

Client Liaison

Lisa joined the LeadER team in 2019. 

Client Services

Mallory joined the LeadER Team in 2020. 

Client Service Representative

Mandy joined the LeadER team in 2019. She is a Florida native with a passion for animals and children.  Mandy is currently studying secondary education to teach Biology at a middle school/high school level.  She currently holds an Associate's degree in Psychology.  Mandy attended the Disney college program which was a dream come true for her.  When not working or studying, Mandy likes to travel to Orlando, run marathons, binge watch movies and shows with her husband and 11 dogs.  Her dream is to move to Alaska to enjoy the snow and sled the Iditarod.  

Client Services

Nicki joined the LeadER team in 2020. 

Client Services

Randi joined the LeadER team in 2018. 

Lead Client Service Representative

Savannah joined our team in 2016. 

Inventory & Billing Specialist

Stephanie was born and raised in South Florida. Upon receiving her first Bachelor’s degree in accounting she was bitten by the medical bug and opted to change her course of study. She moved away from South Florida and obtained her second Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry with a minor and Criminal Justice. She is currently working on her M.D/Ph.d and lives with her husband and two fur babies in Hollywood.